Dal or Daal or Dhal is the “coveted” staple in Indian household. This soup style Indian dish needs no introduction to any Indian food lover. Growing up, I devoured bowls and bowls of the different variation of dals from different legumes that my mother made. “Gujarati Dal” – is sweet, savory, tangy soup style dal was an accompaniment in our everyday meal and the primary source of protein. For the weekends, mom would prepare “Tadaka dal” – which was more of that fancy restaurant style dal made from Pigeon Peas. This is somewhat inspired from my mother’s Pigeon Peas Dal recipe – Meet Split Yellow Mung Bean Dal!!
Its Golden, Creamy, Aromatic, Fragrant, Comforting, Filling and packed with protein!!
This dal can be made with whole mung beans as well as the green split mung beans which has the green outer skin on! [ SEE PICTURE BELOW FOR REFERANCE] The flavor and texture may vary if you choose to opt for these two options of mung beans but it will be as delicious as the yellow split mung beans I promise!
Dal is usually treated as an accompaniment for the traditional Indian meal, it completes the traditional “THALI” – a platter of all the assorted curries, flat bread, rice and other sweet and savory side dishes.
Being a vegetarian, dal is an absolute staple for me – HELLO MR.PROTEIN! It is fragrant, easy to cook, light on tummy kinda staple! Today’s recipe for split yellow mung bean dal is easy to follow and customizable. Though my usual go-to dal recipe is the standard “yellow lentil dal” but lately I’ve been enjoying making this golden aromatic split mung bean dal a lot.
THIS and fluffy white rice, oh the food nirvana!!!
Dal and rice is usually my go-to meal when I do not want to give it a thought on what to cook for dinner tonight or when I crave a big bowl of comfort food thats also very much filling. This also serves as a perfect meal option when you are little under the weather, go easy on the chili powder and slurp it like soup 😀
This dal can be made in various way
- In a pressure cooker
- In an Instant Pot
- Stovetop – in the pan
PRESSURE COOKER method- is pretty straight forward one. You basically start with hot oil in the pressure cooker on medium heat. Add in cumin seeds, dry whole red chilies and bay leaves. Look for the golden brown color on cumin and add in curry leaves and asafetida. Now add in chopped red onion, garlic and green chilies and cook for 2 minutes until onion leave raw texture and turn a little golden brown in color, make sure not to let the garlic burn. In the next step, add turmeric powder and chili powder and stir constantly for 1 minute to let cook the spices well. Add the washed beans to this mixture along with 4-5 cups of water and cook on high pressure for 10-15 minutes. If you are using the traditional style cooker with weight, then let it cook on high for 10 minutes and whistle 2-3 times, turn off the heat and wait till the pressure releases. Sprinkle fresh cilantro and serve hot!
INSTANT POT method – Start your instant pot in normal sauté mode and heat the oil. Add in cumin seeds, dry whole red chilies and bay leaves. Look for the golden brown color on cumin and add in curry leaves and asafetida. Now add in chopped red onion, garlic and green chilies and cook for 2 minutes until onion leave raw texture and turn golden brown in color, make sure not to let the garlic burn. In the next step, add turmeric powder and chili powder and stir constantly for 1 minute to let cook the spices well. Add the washed beans and 4-5 cups water [ depends on how thin or thick consistency you prefer]. Change the setting to manual mode and set it for 10 minutes. After the beep, quick release the pressure and sprinkle lots of cilantro!
The STOVE TOP- PAN method – Follow the recipe card below :
- 1 cup split yellow mung beans, washed
- 1 medium sized red onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
- 4 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely chopped ( or minced)
- 2 small green chilies or 1 jalapeño, finely chopped (de-seed for mild heat)
- ¼ cup cilantro leaves, chopped
- 10-15 fresh curry leaves
- 2 whole dry red chilies (optional)
- 2 bay leaves
- 1½ tablespoon cumin seeds
- 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 1 to 1½ teaspoon of chili powder [ I add 1½ ]
- ¼ teaspoon asafetida
- 2 tablespoon sunflower oil or peanut oil or ghee [ or any other oil that has a high smoking point]
- 6 cups water [ divided into 4+2 cups ]
- 1 teaspoon himalayan pink salt + more
- Sort and wash the split mung beans. In a medium pot, over medium heat boil 4 cups of water along with the washed beans and add in 1 teaspoon of salt. Simmer on medium heat for about 35-40 minutes. I usually start with 4 cups and half way across the boil, I add another 2 cups of water. Alternatively, you can cook the beans in a pressure cooker, which is much faster than pan method, takes about 15-minutes on high pressure or 2-3 whistles. Transfer in to a medium mixing bowl.
- You can keep the cooked beans as is, or with the help of a whisker, whisk it really well or use an immersion blender for desired consistency. Set aside.
- In the same pot (wash it quick and wipe it clean) add the oil over medium heat. Add in dry whole red chilies, bay leaves and cumin seeds. Wait for the cumin seed to change color to golden brown.
- Add in curry leaves and asafetida. BEWARE, that it may splutter due to the oil being hot, keep the lid handy and cover as soon as you add curry leaves.
- Next add in chopped red onion, garlic and green chilies. Let this mixture cook for 2 minutes. Make sure the garlic doesn’t burn, lower the heat if necessary.
- Now, add 1 teaspoon of turmeric powder and 1 teaspoon of red chili powder. I like the heat, so I added 1 ½ teaspoon of red chili powder. [SEE NOTES]
- Let these spices cook for 1 minute while stirring constantly. Make sure it doesn’t burn.
- Add the cooked/boiled split mung beans to the pot and stir to mix everything well.
- Bring to a boil and simmer on low for 5-10 minutes.
- Taste test and adjust salt if needed.
- Turn of the heat and add in fresh chopped cilantro.
- Serve hot with basmati rice, naan bread or any other bread of your choice along with a wedge of lime.
MAKE AHEAD VERSION - You can keep pre cooked split mung beans in a the refrigerator for up to 1 week in an airtight container and just prepare the fresh tempering of the aromatics and spices as you need it to add it to the boiled beans. Your daal will be ready in less than 15 minutes.
You can store fully cooked daal in the fridge for 2-3 days.
This daal thickens a bit as it cools or refrigerates, add water in tablespoon of increments to thin it out when reheating.
The quantity of how many cups to add depends on the personal preference of the consistency of the daal, I love my daal to be on thinner side. You can reduce a cup or two if you like much thicker version of the final preparation.